What’s the Best Type of Carpet?

As a professional carpet cleaner, I am often asked what type of carpet is the best.

While this is a great question, and one that should be asked when deciding on a carpet to install, the answer is a little more involved than you might think. Is a Porsche better than Prius? For speed yes, but for fuel economy, no. So the answer is to go over the options and see what works best for your lifestyle.

Polyester

Polyester is the low-cost choice in choosing a carpet. It is a synthetic material and is used very often in homes across the country. The upside of polyester is, of course, the price and its stain resistant qualities. Polyester naturally repels liquid, so if you’re the “glass of wine after dinner” type, polyester may be a good choice. The downside of poly is that it tends to show wear faster than all other types of carpet, so if you’re a dancer or like to chase your dog around the house, poly may not be your best choice.

Nylon

Nylon is the other very popular choice in the synthetic carpet arena. Many times, nylon is preferred over polyester because it will not wear out as easily. Nylon works very well for high traffic areas, but will definitely cost you more than polyester. In terms of stain resistance, nylon is not as effective as polyester, however, most carpets are made with stain resistance added, so the gap has definitely narrowed. Nylon is the most popular choice among Americans accounting for 65 percent of all carpet sales. When making the decision between poly and nylon, always remember that you will “get what you pay for”. Low price on either will usually result in an inferior product and force you back into the carpet store sooner than you would have liked.

Wool

People love it. Sheep, not so much. Wool is a natural fiber made from the coats of sheep. It is thick, plush, and makes the most beautiful carpets and rugs in the world. It naturally repels dirt and can hold 30 percent of its own weight in moisture before feeling wet. Wool almost never shows signs of wear, so it’s not uncommon to see wool carpet that is 25 years old that looks almost new! But, every rose has its thorn. Wool can be very difficult to clean if there is a massive spill or a pet issue. High alkalinity causes damage to wool fibers and can change the colors or cause them to bleed. So if you’re running a pet rescue out of your living room, wool would not be your best choice.

As you can see, deciding the “best” carpet is like deciding the best restaurant, hotel, guitar player, or golf course. The answer depends on your lifestyle and your tastes.